Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Greatest Invention EVER!

I've never been a stellar driver. I wasn't the star pupil in driver's ed. in high school. I was the only one of my friends that had to drive to Othello 3 times instead of 2. I passed the written test in the high 90's, but the driving test only by 2. I recently got my insurance renewal and YEA! I'm not having to pay the "bad" driver rate anymore from my mishap 3 years ago with the Lexus on 1-5 in Seattle.... but let me tell you WHY I had that mishap in the first place: I was lost.

Yes, it is true, I am among those who are directionally challenged. Very challenged. I was very excited when Mapquest first came out - I thought THIS is the answer for me. I'll just always print out where I want to go before I go!! During this particular weekend in November, the girls and I were going off to Seattle for a weekend of fun. I had printed out all the places I wanted to go, including a japanese restaurant, you know the kind they cook at the table? Well, aparently mapquest was WRONG, and we ended up sooooooooo lost. Like 3 hours lost. Like 3 hours and two hungry kids in the back seat lost.

I finally decided I knew if I could just get back on I-90 I would know where my hotel was at, we could regroup and figure out what to do. At first I was I-5 going north, then I ended up in downtown Seattle, and finally I was on I-5 going south and I saw it....... the sign "I-90 East 1 mile on Left" LEFT?? Left? What kind of exit is on the left? So, I start make my way over to the left... now this is a Monday night in November at about 6:00 pm. Pitch dark. Bumper to bumper stop and go traffic. So out of my realm. Finally I get into the correct lane, and the traffic was creeping about 5 miles an hour. My kids are starving in the back seat, I look down to see if there was anything left in a chip bag that was in the front with me. Of course, I hit the guy in front of me.

I was going less than 5 miles an hour - but he turns on his blinker and we have to cross ALL the traffic to get to the other side of the road. There happens to be State Patrol already there for a different accident, and I can tell that the driver of this Lexus is hopping mad. I start gathering up my insurance information to give him and then he arrives at my window and starts into me. "Do you have insurance? You are going to take responsibility for this? Blah. blah. blah." I get out and look at his car, he has about a quarter size scratch on his bumper. My license plate bracket is cracked. The police officer comes up and says "That looks like it'll buff out." Since there wasn't enough damage on either of our cars he says, he isn't even going to write up an incident report. That ticked off Mr. Lexus, but good. He then got a piece of paper and made me sign it saying the accident was my fault. The officer said to him "That isn't even worth the paper it is written on." I'm still not sure what Mr. Lexus's gig was - I mean I was a mom in mini-van (a nice mini-van) with 2 kids. I'd given him my name, my insurance information, my phone number.

By this time, my kids are hysterical. KK is crying, which made SS start crying. They are hungry and they are sure that we are going to stay lost forever. Finally, we get back to our hotel and I remembered seeing what I thought was a chinese restaurant next to the Target we'd been to the day before, so we head over there for dinner. Ironically, it turned out to be just the kind of place I wanted to go to begin with! It was less than a mile from our hotel!

And what does this little story have to do with the best invention ever you may be asking yourself? It was shortly after this that I bought my hand-held GSP system. Seriously, this thing has revolutionized my life! I can drive anywhere without fear! I can find a Target, movie theater, or just about any other place I want to go with just a few button punches. I took it with me on my recent trip to Texas and I was able to drive my rental car every place I was suppose to go without much trepidation.

Sadly, on our recent holiday trip to Couer 'd Alene for the light show, my GPS experienced an unfortunate accident with a cup of coffee. Let's just say, the two don't get along very well. After a few frantic minutes (okay, more like 30) of having a bad trip down memory lane of my Seattle trip we were able to get back to the Petco where poor little Daisy was at getting her hair done. KK & SS where positive we where never going to find it again, and Daisy would be lost to us forever! I had tried the service offered by ATT Wireless 411 service called "driving directions". It was insane, I'd say where I was then where I wanted to go to an operator, then she'd send me to the computer automated directions and it would just keeping repeating "when you are ready for the next step, just say NEXT or if you need to repeat these directions at anytime just say REPEAT" but every time I'd say next or repeat, it would just start playing elevator music. So, again - there I was lost screaming NEXT into my phone head-set.

Finally, we found the road I knew the Petco was on. I must give credit to KK for that one. She said "Mom, I remember a Lowe's when we got off the freeway and look, it's the Lowe's." We were on the backside of it, but I was able to finally get around and get on the right road!

And right next to the Petco? A Best Buy. New GPS works great!

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Darin and Angie Smith said...

I love both GPS stories, they always make me chuckle. Does your GPS talk to you in a nice motherly voice, some back seat nagging voice or in an Amb.& Fitch shirtless kind of voice?

Katypi said...

I desperately need a GPS. I can get from my house to Wal-Mart, and then to work. Other than that, it's all Indian territory as far as I can tell. Trouble is, you have to be smarter than the GPS, and I guess that says it all.....sigh.....LOL!!!

Susie said...

Katypi! They are easy, really! Revolutionized I tell you! :)

The old GPS was slightly more nagging, but with a sweet motherly overtone. I'm not sure about the new one yet, I think she is a bit more nagging - but I'm still getting used to her. The old one was named "Jill" (I didn't have the heart to tell the girls its spelled with a "J") and the new one is "Ginny". And yes, I do talk back to it! LOL

Carrie said...

Congrats on the new GPS!

Cookin'mama said...

Aww, I must show this post to my directionally challenged daughter! She will laugh as I did, I am sure. I did not like Mr. Lexus! He deserved a little tap on the rear if you ask me, just not by you!